How Do I Know If My Fuel Injectors Are Clogged?

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As the oldest of electronic fuel injected cars on the road today are more than 50 years old, the problem of clogged injectors has become nearly endemic. This common problem has a number of causes and is fairly easily diagnosed.

Debris

  • The cause of injector clogging is usually metal and dirt debris floating in the fuel stream. Though the system does have a number of filters, they may become perforated over time and allow debris to pass through.

Idling

  • Clogged fuel injectors will often cause a rough, unsteady idle, which may smooth out with gentle application of the throttle.

Acceleration

  • Clogging can often cause sluggish acceleration and surging under full throttle. In severe cases, the engine may stall under sudden acceleration.

Misfiring

  • The only way to separate the effects of clogged filters from those of a clogged injectors is misfiring. Injectors usually don't clog in a uniform way, which will cause misfiring of one or more cylinders under hard acceleration.

Bench Testing

  • The ultimate test is to take your car to a shop that specializes in fuel injection systems and have the injectors flow-tested. This involves removal and testing of the injectors, but allows the mechanic to thoroughly clean them, which is far cheaper than simply buying new ones.

References

  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of futureatlas.com
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